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Dept Michigan
Researching and Recording
Civil War Veterans Burials
in Michigan Cemeteries

  1. Some Hints on Researching Civil War Veterans Burial Sites
  2. Explore the reference section of the library with a genealogical or local history section, for the county, the cemetery you are researching. Try to find cemetery recordings of the local genealogical society. These recordings usually mention war service of those buried in cemetery. The researcher should note that most society recordings only account for those veterans whose stones mention Civil War service. There were many veterans buried without military markers or family markers that mentioned Civil War. service.
  3. Use the information on Civil War Veterans in these records to fill out a graves registration form for any veterans listed (there may be more than one reading that you can use for your research). Fill out what information is available, you will be able to verify it and add to it as you follow up on your work.
  4. This will save you time out in the field. Try to copy a map of the cemetery so that you can use it to record your route through the cemetery. (Some cemeteries are quite large and a map will help you plan your route and you can mark where you stop, so that you know where to restart on the next visit).
  5. If a copy of the original burial records are available, at a library or local government office, try to photo-copy the relevant pages. (Many burials are listed in original records, which have no stone at cemetery or may show a grave that was moved).
  6. Plan your trip to the cemetery for your walk through to record possible Civil War Veteran sites. Be sure to take writing supplies, the forms you filled out earlier, blank forms for others you find, a partner, and a camera (with film!). A camera can be used to photograph any Grand Army of the Republic or Civil War monuments and could be used to photograph headstones, if needed.
  7. A photograph will save many trips back to the cemetery as you are working to confirm veteran status.
  8. Be sure to record all males born prior to and including 1848. Also record names in this range which have abbreviated or unisex first names, as they may be veterans.( e.g. B.F. Jones, Roxy Noller) Also record names where birth date or date death are unknown. You may find later that this individual is veteran. If the male was in correct birth range but died prior to or in 1890, record wife's' name and dates if she lived after 1890. (This is because surviving spouses of Civil War. vets. were recorded in the 1890 Special Census of Veterans).
  9. It is recommended that at least two walks through are conducted for each cemetery, you may need even more to complete a thorough recording.
  10. When you have all of the possible veterans recorded from your cemetery walk through/s, compare it to the original burial records you should be able to add or eliminate names to your possible list. The use of a computer data base or spreadsheet program helps tremendously with such a large project and so much information that you are working with.
  11. You should now use as many resources as possible to either confirm or deny possible veterans on your list.
    1. Resources: G.A.R. Post lists, available at MI State Library in Lansing, MI., and on film at some L.D.S. Family History Centers. ( These will even give you veterans who served in other states but lived and were usually buried in MI.)
    2. Local County or community history books usually listed Civil War. veterans.
    3. MI veterans burial index at the MI State Library at Lansing, MI.
    4. MI Soldiers and Sailors Index and volumes of service records.
      1890 Special Veterans Census (Index in book form, census on micro-film).
    5. United States Civil War Soldiers Living in Michigan in 1894: Genealogists of the Clinton County Historical Society, St. Johns MI.
    6. Unit histories or diaries of officers.
    7. Newspaper articles or obituaries. ( Some libraries have scrapbooks with Civil War. vet. obits.)
  12. When all veterans are accounted for and graves registration forms completed , send copy of each form to Camp Graves Registration Officer, who will enter the data into the SUVCW Graves Registration database. This data will then be forwarded to the Department of Michigan Graves Restoration Committee, by disk. The Department of Michigan Graves Registration Committee will forward a copy to the National Graves Registration Committee. For more information, please contact Richard Danes .
  13. If a veteran is found with a broken or deteriorated military stone, or does not have a military stone or a family stone with military service on it, contact the Camp Graves Registration Officer, send him the proper documentation and he will process the stone order or schedule repairs.

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  Last updated on December 29, 2005 9:00 PM - webmaster